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How Did Our Products Get So Toxic?

Excerpt from Turn The Bottle Over. Chapter 6: How Did It Get Like This?



"It’s worth taking some time here to think about before the 1930s, let's say the late 1700s and early 1800s and how most of the average family’s lifestyle revolved around making your own products from scratch. Growing our own food. Cloth diapers were still a thing less than 50 years ago! I was reading a book recently, Exploring Insects With Uncle Paul, and it had a side story in there about a candlestick that was broken and the smithy that would come by the house, melt it down, and reshape it to be like new! Talk about a recycle program! Many people had to make their own soap with simple natural ingredients. We worked the land and few things for the average family were “purchased” even clothes were sewn by many of the women in the family. If we go farther back in history or just look at other non-western cultures most used or use nature and the entirety of an animal’s body for various household uses from food to clothes to tools. The modern culture of buying things on the shelf or more so now even just sight unseen online ordering is a very new way of living for human beings. I love that we are so entrepreneurial and the inventions of the past few centuries and decades to make life easier and simpler are incredible and even lifesaving sometimes! But it is also the source of many of the reasons we are where we are today.


Someone had an idea. Someone thought maybe I can make work a bit easier here. Maybe there’s a more efficient way to farm this field? Maybe there’s a faster way to make soap? The industrial revolution and factories have made so many things accessible to so many people. I am not suggesting we should go back to a caveman lifestyle however this is our history and so often we look only at the present without looking at where we came from and why before making judgements. So I wanted to highlight here, how we got where we are. Most of it is because of business and legislation.


I really do love capitalism but it’s not perfect. I don’t want to spend a bunch of time on economics and it’s not my area of expertise but it’s worth asking key questions about. In a free market under capitalism, businesses should rise and fall. Products will be encouraged to evolve and adapt based on new ideas and consumer demand. And if quality is subpar then it will eventually fade, incentivizing companies and businesses to make a better product to come up with a new idea. To solve a new problem. I believe that most products and services on the market come from good intentions."


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